Scroll down to read this post.


My July fund-raising campaign, celebrating the 13th anniversary of the start of this website, has now ended. This was the second most successful monthly fund-raising campaign ever. Thank you again to everyone who has who donated or subscribed. It is difficult to explain what your support means to me.


You can still donate or subscribe to support my work if you wish, either by giving a one-time contribution or a regular subscription. There are four ways of doing so:


1. Zelle: This is the only internet method that charges no fees. All you have to do is use the Zelle link at your internet bank and give my name and email address (zimmerman at nasw dot org). What you donate is what I get.


2. Patreon: Go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.

3. A Paypal Donation:

4. A Paypal subscription:

5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

AX-2 commercial passenger flight to ISS splashes down safely

Axiom’s second commercial passenger flight to ISS, dubbed AX-2, successfully splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico a little after 11 pm (Eastern) tonight after spending eight days in space.

Recovery efforts of the Freedom capsule are still underway by SpaceX crews. It is necessary again to emphasize that this is a private mission, launched by a private company in a privately owned capsule for a private company and private passengers. The only government involvement was when the capsule was docked to ISS and the crew was on the station.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • GaryMike

    Getting away from government control of space.


    The new American frontier doesn’t require British, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Swazi, or UN control.

    It’s just required they just get the (swear word here) out of the way.

    Governments are no longer in control. They will exert extreme regulatory pressures pretending to be relevant to access.

    Once we’re off-world, which government has station?


    Try to tax us!

  • GaryMike

    Lunar-based mass drivers will be really useful.

    How to you want it?

    Ah, negotiation.

  • GaryMike

    Of course, Earth would send troops to try to manage the lunar mass driver threat.

    In how many useful lunar craters not easily observed from the target?

  • GaryMike

    Space, and its various worlds, are not going to be ruled by terrestrial laws and regulations.

    Nor by their State and Municipal codes.

    It will not be long before humanity will no longer need our current overseers, their attending bureaucrats, and their restrictions on our freedoms.

    We’ll decide once again.

  • Michael

    I remember watching that fictional video on youtube about the first 10,000 days on Mars ( At one point it was stated that the earth nation states we sending diplomatic missions to Mars. When I saw this the first thought that went thru my mind was “I wonder if Starships could be used as ABMs?”

  • Richard M

    Well, the two Saudi astronauts work for the Saudi government’s space agency, which is who paid their way . . . but I get the point. It isn’t the *American* government!

    Still, I think this is more evidence that a lot of the business case for commercial LEO stations is going to consist of “sovereign” clients. But that’s all right, too: They’re getting into space via a commercial market, rather than brute-forcing it through massive state programs. And it puts space within the reach of a lot of smaller countries.

Readers: the rules for commenting!


No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.


However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.


Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *